Norwich City’s Jacob Murphy fires Coventry City joint top of League One

Norwich City winger Jacob Murphy is on loan at Coventry City. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Norwich City winger Jacob Murphy is on loan at Coventry City. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Norwich City's on-loan youngster Jacob Murphy grabbed his chance in a central role at the weekend with a match-winning brace for Coventry City to move them joint top of League One in a 3-1 away win at his former loan club Colchester.

Murphy was deployed in a deeper-lying strike role behind Marc Antoine-Fortune at the Weston Homes Community stadium in the absence of Newcastle's prolific loan signing Adam Armstrong, who was on England duty.

'I enjoyed playing more centrally and nice to get a couple of goals. I said when I scored my first for a while that they would come flooding in and you tend to get more chances in that more central role,' he said. 'I was just gutted I couldn't get a hat-trick but it was nice to play a different role.

'It was great to return here, I have good memories from my time here and good for me that I came back and helped get the win for Coventry. I just wanted to do well for Coventry. I didn't need to prove anything to anyone and it was important to do well on a day when we were without Arma and Ryan (Kent), important we dug deep and got a result.'

Sky Blues' chief Tony Mowbray was delighted Murphy softened the blow of losing League One's 12-goal top scorer Armstrong.

'He stepped up to the plate,' he said. 'Without Armstrong we were wondering where the goals might come from but Jacob showed that he can play in that position as well as on the wing.

'I wanted to use his speed and mobility down the middle against their centre-halves because he's a good footballer. Like most wingers he can be inconsistent – we've seen that at the Ricoh when he's not got a kick in the first half and then ripped it up in the second – but he really came to the fore.

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'It was a great recovery and we deserved the points – a good team performance in front of a great travelling support so we've hopefully sent them back up the road relatively pleased.'

Meanwhile, Murphy's fellow Norwich City academy product Remi Matthews has earned backing from an unlikely source in his loan spell at Burton - rival Brewers' keeper Jon McLaughlin.

The Gorleston-bred Matthews has made six appearances for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's League One promotion chasers this season, but made his first senior appearance since September in the recent 3-0 FA Cup defeat against Peterborough. McLaughlin, however, felt Matthews underlined his class despite Burton's exit.

'Remi did really well and that will hurt him a lot because there's nothing worse than when you feel like you've done well and made some good saves that have kept the team in the game – but the result has not gone your way,' he told the Burton Mail. 'That will be frustrating for him, I'm sure. But credit to him, he's had a long time since his last game and again he has come in and done a really good job for the team.

'He is pushing very hard.

'That's the whole point of him being here, he's doing his job and that's exactly what he's got to do, to make sure any time an opportunity comes his way, as it did against Rochdale, he had to come on and be ready, and he was able to do that.

'Again against Peterborough, he came in after a while out and has played well. So it's great to have someone like him in the club, making sure that I've got to do everything I can and really be performing well to stay in the side.'